Cat crying is a high-pitched meow that signals a need or want. A cat meowing a lot is a cat that wants to communicate and alert the owners of something. A cat crying or meowing excessively warrants attention. 

Common causes of cat crying include greeting, hunger, loneliness, breeding needs, hunting habits, anxiety, and illness. 

Ongoing and excessive meowing is what pet owners are referring to when trying to answer, “Why do cats cry?” Several factors affect cat vocal behavior cat crying, including age, breed, time of day, breeding season, and emotional state. 

Stopping a meowing or crying cat means identifying the trigger that causes the vocalization. Consistent training, reinforcing positive behavior, environmental enrichment, routine creation, and calming aids work best in managing a crying cat. 

Why Does My Cat Meow So Much?

Your cat meows so much because it is greeting a human family member, hungry, seeking attention, in mating season, ready for hunting, anxious, or ill. A cat meowing a lot is trying to alert the owner that it needs something. 

Cats make several vocalizations apart from meows, including purrs, trills, chirps, chatter, snarls, growls, hisses, yowls, howls, caterwauls, and screams. 

Cats meow to communicate with humans but do not meow to communicate with other cats. Frontiers in Veterinary Science published “The Mechanics of Social Interactions Between Cats and Their Owners” in 2021, stating that “cats vocalize more frequently with their human companions than with other cats.”

Cats communicate with other cats using body language and facial expressions. Humans do not understand the subtle changes in body language and facial expressions and use meows to get human attention. 

Cat crying means cats are able to get the owner’s attention and signal low mood or depression in cats than cats that subtly change body posture and facial expression. 

Is It Normal for Cats to Meow Often?

Yes, it is normal for cats to meow often. Frequent meowing is a normal cat behavior that is essential for communication. The frequency of meowing varies from cat to cat, and some cats meow or cry more than expected. 

Pet owners wondering, “Why do cats cry or meow often?” must consider several factors, such as age, breed, emotional state, personality, health, and mating state. Cats are different and have unique vocal characteristics. 

A cat crying or suddenly meowing more often than usual warrants a veterinary consultation. Pronounced vocalization is more challenging to spot in cats that are chatty in general. 

What Factors Influence a Cat’s Vocal Behavior?

The factors that influence a cat’s vocal behavior are listed below. 

  • Age: The cat’s age is a key factor influencing vocal behaviors. Kittens meow a lot to communicate with their mothers, and the meowing decreases through adulthood. The meowing increases as cats enter the senior or geriatric life stage.  
  • Breed: Genetics determine a cat’s vocal habits. Siamese breed cats cry, meow, and vocalize habitually, while Maine Coons are quieter.
  • Time of Day: Cats are crepuscular or most active at dusk and dawn, with an internal hunting clock between 3 am and 5 am. Cat crying and intense meowing peak in late afternoons and early mornings. 
  • Breeding Season: Intact cats not spayed or neutered are vocal or yowl during breeding season. Females produce drawn-out meows at cats crying in heat, and males respond with similar vocalizations when a female in heat is nearby. 
  • Emotional State: A cat’s emotional state influences the cat’s vocal behavior. A cat satisfied to see the owner back from work meows to greet, but a cat stressed the owner is late and broke the schedule meows, too.  

Are Some Cat Breeds More Vocal Than Others?

Yes, some cat breeds are more vocal than others. Certain cat breeds are chattier and communicate loudly and frequently with meows, cat crying, chirps, and trills. 

Highly vocal breeds include the Siamese, the Bengal, the Sphynx, the Bobtail, the Oriental, the Turkish Van, the Tonkinese, the Peterbald, the Ocicat, the Balinese-Javanese, and the Burmese cat. 

Birmans, Himalayans, Maine Coons, Persians, Scottish Folds, British Shorthairs, and Russian Blue cats are the least vocal and meow rarely. 

How Can You Distinguish Between Different Types of Meows?

You can distinguish between different types of meows based on pitch and tone. A meow is a demand, but cats use meows in various pitches and tones to communicate other messages. 

For example, a short, high-pitched meow indicates excitement or greeting, while a lower, longer, and drawn-out meow is a sign of frustration or the cat’s request for attention. 

A cat crying or excessive meowing is easy to spot. The cat’s body language best distinguishes slight changes in a cat’s meow or different meows. 

Pet owners learn to recognize their cat’s vocal signals through learned interaction. A 2015 report, “Human classification of context-related vocalizations emitted by familiar and unfamiliar domestic cats: an exploratory study,” found that owners understand the meaning of cat meows when coming from their cats but not from other cats. The study found that “40% of the participants identified the correct contexts at a level greater than chance when the vocalizations belonged to their own cat. None of the participants performed above chance when vocalizations belonged to an unfamiliar cat.”

Could My Cat’s Excessive Meowing Be a Sign of Anxiety?

Yes, excessive meowing could be a sign of anxiety. Frequent vocalization, including increased cat crying, meowing, or hissing, is a sign of anxiety in cats. 

Cat Anxiety is fearful anticipation of impending danger, either real or imagined. Genetic factors, environmental conditions, and experiences are all responsible for cats’ anxiety problems

An anxious cat shows symptoms such as frequent meowing, crouching, hiding, avoiding the litter box, destructive tendencies, excessive grooming, eating too much or not at all, and aggressiveness or clinginess. 

Anxiety is an underdiagnosed mental state in cats, requiring a multimodal management plan. Anxiety is not life-threatening but harms the cat’s quality of life. 

How Does Age Affect a Cat’s Tendency to Meow?

Age affects a cat’s tendency to meow because kittens meow at their mothers when hungry and uncomfortable, and mother cats meow to kittens in response. The meowing subsides when the kittens are weaned. 

Cat crying and the meowing tendency increase when adult cats enter their senior years. Getting older is associated with feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD), a condition equivalent to Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia in humans. 

Cats with FCD experience cognitive decline and deterioration of the senses, mainly eyesight and hearing. The effects of FCD make cats confused and more prone to meowing. 

A cat losing sight and hearing is unable to rely on signs and sounds to manage its surroundings and meows for orientation. An older cat with FCD and poor hearing meows more loudly simply because it does not hear how loud it sounds. 

Feline cognitive dysfunction is a severe problem in senior cats and affects the cat’s tendency to meow. The problem does not affect the cat’s longevity but harms the overall quality of life. 

Is There a Connection Between Meowing and a Cat’s Emotional State?

Yes, there is a connection between meowing and a cat’s emotional state. An anxious cat with social anxiety about strangers in the house meows to seek reassurance. 

Positive emotions, such as happiness at seeing an owner, trigger increased meowing in some cats. 

Differentiating between the cats’ different meows is challenging for owners, especially for first-time cat owners. Owners are able to recognize the meows and cat crying sounds and connect them with the appropriate emotional state in time. 

How to Get Cat to Stop Meowing?

To get a cat to stop meowing, follow the steps below.

  1. Rule Out Medical Issues. Consult a veterinarian to eliminate any medical conditions to get a cat to stop meowing. Diseases affect the cat’s mood or are painful and cause increased crying. Schedule a veterinary visit and have the cat checked thoroughly to establish a general health status. Address the medical problem if present or focus on behavioral issues if the veterinarian rules out medical conditions.   
  2. Enrich the Environment. Environmental enrichment prevents boredom and depression, which causes cat crying and unusual vocalization. Cats need daily playtime that is physically and mentally stimulating. Give the cat at least two 10 or 15-minute interactive play sessions a day that allow the cat to pounce, bite, and stalk. Cat-appropriate furniture and toys, like cat trees, scratching posts, and feeder puzzles, are vital aspects of environmental enrichment and stop meowing. 
  3. Create a Routine. Cats need structure and routine. Create a fixed schedule for the cat’s basic needs, like playtime, mealtime, and grooming, and maintain the routine. A cat is less inclined to meow if it knows the routine. Start a schedule during kittenhood. Cats are able to adjust to a routine when introduced later in life. 
  4. Spay or Neuter the Cat. Spaying or neutering is recommended for intact cats meowing excessively during breeding seasons. Female cats are more vocal in heat, and surgical fixing helps eliminate the behavior. Male cats are less vocal but show other annoying behaviors. Spaying or neutering a cat helps stop meowing and cat crying and has other health benefits, like reducing the risk of certain diseases, roaming, fights, marking, and pet homelessness. 
  5. Use Calming Aids. Cats with strong emotions causing excessive meowing and crying benefit from calming aids. Popular calming aids include pheromones, CBD products, and relaxing supplements with naturally calming ingredients like passion flower, jasmine, chamomile, L-theanine, or L-tryptophan. Every cat is different; finding the best calming aid for the specific case takes time. 
  6. Stay Calm and Patient. Training a cat to stop meowing is a lengthy process, and it is vital to stay positive. Never scold, hit, or punish the cat for meowing. Harsh methods and punishment are cruel and do not have a lasting effect on meowing habits and make the cat fearful. 

When Should I Consult a Veterinarian About My Cat’s Vocalizations?

You should consult a veterinarian about your cat’s vocalization when it seems unusual. For example, see the veterinarian if an otherwise calm and quiet cat starts meowing often, intensely, and for no apparent reason. 

A cat meowing a lot requires veterinary attention when other worrisome signs and symptoms, such as appetite, drinking habits, temperature, mood, and urination changes, accompany the vocalization. 

Cat crying and meowing are often triggered by medical conditions, such as kidney problems and thyroid gland. Untreated kidney and thyroid problems are painful and life-threatening for cats. Diagnose and treat the problem for a favorable prognosis and reduction in vocalization. 

What Role Does Attention and Interaction Play in a Cat’s Vocal Behavior?

Attention and interaction play an essential role in a cat’s vocal behavior. Cats are born as hunters and thrive on physical and mental stimulation. Increased cat crying and vocal behavior in indoor cats signify boredom. Cats meow frequently to demand attention, interaction, and entertainment or initiate playtime. 

A lack of attention and interaction causes cats to cry in bored cats. Low enrichment over a prolonged period triggers anxiety in some cats, accompanied by destructive habits, and affects the cat’s overall quality of life. 

How Can Environmental Changes Influence a Cat’s Meowing Patterns?

Environmental changes can influence a cat’s meowing patterns by intensifying or diminishing meowing frequency.  Cats thrive on habit and strict routines. No matter how small, changes in the environment affect the cat’s emotional state and result in increased or decreased meowing. 

Environmental changes, like having construction work around the house, rearranging furniture or simply re-decorating, trigger stress. Anxiety or stress in cats causes increased vocalization, manifesting with cat crying or excessive meowing. Particular cats behave the other way and get quieter when stressed. 

The importance of the cat’s environment and its influence on vocalization is well-documented. The Journal of Veterinary Science published a paper, “Feline Vocal Communication,” in 2020. The paper stated that “the environment has an important impact on the vocal behavior and thus feral cats and pet cats vocalize differently.”

Are There Training Methods to Address Excessive Meowing?

Yes, there are training methods to address excessive meowing. The simplest way is to ignore excessive meowing and crying and reward the cat for being quiet.

The training is simple and means ignoring the cat while meowing and giving treats as rewards with treats with it stops being vocal. The technique is based on positive reinforcement and helps the cat associate the quiet time with treats, encouraging good behavior. 

Clicker training is another effective technique to manage cat crying. The method is simple and requires a clicker and a bag of the cat’s favorite treats. Ignore the meowing, then use the clicker to give the cat treats once the meowing stops. Reward quiet time, even when it is short at first, and slowly build up the time the cat must be quiet before hearing the clicker and receiving a treat. 

Can Diet and Nutrition Impact a Cat’s Tendency to Meow?

Yes, diet and nutrition can impact a cat’s tendency to meow if the excess vocalization is caused by hunger. For example, when starting a new low-calorie cat food formula, one possible cause for cat crying is lack of satiation. 

Talk to the veterinarian about high-fiber formulas and supplements that help keep the cat satiated longer when on a specific dieting regimen. 

Cats meowing to get food must learn that excessive vocalization does not result in food. Create a feeding schedule and serve meals according to the plan, not when the cat cries and meows. Using an automatic feeder is an excellent alternative. 

Can CBD Oil Help Cats’ Excessive Meowing?

Yes, CBD oil can help with cat excessive meowing. CBD oil reduces vocalization if triggered by pain or anxiety. CBD oils for cats contain cannabinoids, which have potent anti-pain and anti-anxiety properties. CBD supports cats with anxiety-related behaviors, including excessive vocalization, pacing, and extreme grooming.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is an active compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant, predominately in hemp. Hemp contains CBD alongside other cannabinoids with health-boosting features. 

CBD for cats works through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a regulatory mechanism responsible for maintaining homeostasis or balance in mammals. 

CBD oil for cats helps relieve pain and anxiety through the endocannabinoid system, which are common causes of cat crying and excessive vocalization. 

Hemp-sourced pet CBD oils are safe for cats of all ages and body weights and come in many potencies and flavors. Choose a high-quality CBD product and consult the veterinarian before adding the supplement to the cat’s health regimen. 

The veterinarian recommends using CBD alone or in combination with mainstream medications to manage the cat’s pain or anxiety and eliminate the cat’s crying issue.